The volleyball team opens SEC play on Sunday at 1 p.m. when they host Georgia at Reed Arena.
freshman setter and Badger-state product Kaysie Shebeneck
brings her energetic and enthusiastic style down south to Aggieland
by Austin Cuny
12th Man Productions
In sports, an emotional edge is revered by many as an intangible advantage that few athletes can bring to the table.
However, for freshman setter and Wisconsin native Kaysie Shebeneck, it seemed to always just come naturally.
It all started in an ice cream parlor in Racine about 14 years ago, when Jane Shebeneck realized her 4-year-old daughter, Kaysie, wasn’t like many kids her age.
- Kaysie Shebeneck
“My mom would tell me this story about how whenever we would go to this ice cream shop when I was little, and I would just go up to random people and ask what flavor they were eating and if I could try some,” Kaysie said. “I’ve just never been afraid to talk to people.”
Fast forward 14 years and Shebeneck, now a rising star for the Texas A&M volleyball team, is known by her teammates and fans as the vocal leader. Whether it’s the beginning of the match, or the end of the fifth set, Kaysie is constantly giving her team an emotional boost by her vocal leadership and helping wear down the opposition with her energy.
“I do it for the energy factor, and just to get the team going. As a team we feed off of energy really well, so if we have a lot of energy coming out it’s kind of its own intimidation factor.”
For Kaysie, her love for the sport came at an early age, saying that she was seven years old the first time she picked up a volleyball. She contributes her start mostly to her mom.
“My mom was a high school coach, but my sister didn't want to play so I would just hit the ball up against the wall to practice.”
That practice and enthusiasm for the game led to incredible success on the court. She was named the Wisconsin Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year her junior and senior years after leading Burlington High School to back-to-back state championships. In addition, she was a two-time first team all-state selection and made PrepVolleyball.com’s list of top players by class all four years of high school, among many other stellar accomplishments.
Her talent quickly caught the attention of the A&M coaches, and during her visit to the Lone Star State it seemed that Texas A&M was her clear favorite from the day she arrived in College Station.
“Whenever I visited College Station I did not want to leave, it was amazing. I just fell in love with the coaches, all of the players, really just the whole staff.”
Of all that Texas A&M has to offer, so far her favorite aspect of A&M is the legendary 12th Man.
“I’ve never been to a school that has so much team spirit all the time. Being as loud and energetic as I am it’s really important to me that I can do that here. During our Michigan match it was the fifth set, and as we were switching sides, I started to scream really loud. Then I hear one person stand up and scream back and then the rest of the crowd stands up and starts going crazy. It gave me chills.”
Kaysie is currently a Spanish major, and hopes to become an interpreter for either a medical staff or big business. As far as her expectations for her team, she says the sky is the limit for the Aggies.
“I think we can go really far. Our team has a great amount of talent and our chemistry is just above and beyond anything I’ve been around. I don’t think a lot of teams that we play have as good of chemistry as we do, so I think that’s what’s gonna keep us together and motivated.”
Whether it’s on the court or off, Kaysie Shebeneck is always looking to bring a positive attitude and an energy boost to whatever she does in life—not just for herself but for friends and teammates as well. Aggie fans should be excited to watch (and hear) this dynamic, upbeat freshman represent Texas A&M on the court for years to come.
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